2013 Honda Fit EV: Video From First Drive Of All-Electric Car

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Yesterday, Honda delivered its first Fit EV electric car to private buyers--or, more accurately, private lease customers, since the car isn't available for outright sale.

Only 1,100 lucky lessors in a small handful of states will ever get behind the wheel of a 2013 Honda Fit EV, because for Honda it's solely a "compliance car," produced to meet California zero-emission vehicle mandates.

Which is too bad, because as we noted in our late-June drive report, we really liked the Honda Fit EV.

Not only is its 118-MPGe rating the highest efficiency of any car in the U.S., but it's peppy to drive, has most of the virtues of the standard Honda Fit from which it's derived, and brings a level of fun and sportiness to small electric cars that the current Nissan Leaf can't hope to match.

To highlight the fact that the first Fit EVs are now reaching Honda dealers in California, we're posting a short video we made from behind the wheel of the electric Fit.

Note especially the two sets of acceleration, one of the car's strong points.

First, there's an uphill stretch after a stoplight and turn. Unfortunately, our progress was blocked by a slow-moving sport-utility vehicle.

Then there's the uphill freeway on-ramp, always a good test of any car's ability to go from a standstill to a safe merging speed in a limited distance under challenging circumstances.

In both cases, the Fit EV did just fine--whether in Sport mode or Normal--convincing us that it's an electric car we could live with for almost any around-town duties.

Too bad that most Honda buyers will never see one.


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Comments (7)
  1. It's a shame it's only a compliance car it sounds like Honda did an excellent job converting the Fit. Well I guess we can only hope that the Fit EV will lead to a mass market electric Honda sometime in the near future.

  2. It’s hard not to like a big motor in a light car. Range in the 90’s so far, unless I blast around in Sport. And the B “gear” lets you drive with just the accelerator pedal in the canyons, except when you are coming to a full stop. Fun and capable, I expect Honda to have no trouble leasing every one.

  3. Chevy is doing the same thing with the Spark EV here in the USA. They need to really consider offering it on a much-wider basis. Washington DC, NYC, Toronto, Quebec and more.

    These will sell better than the Leaf.

  4. What are the performance specs? Also, how is the battery cooled/heated? I want to know!! :)

  5. nevermind, the battery is cooled by fan. How come all the Japanese design are air/fan based cooling while all the American design are liquid cooled... I think the mild Japanese weather has something to do with it...

  6. John,

    Maybe you are a little bit jaded, as a person who gets to drive a lot of cars? ;-) In the Eco mode, the Fit EV has as powerful a motor as the Mitsubishi i MiEV has in Normal mode -- and in Eco mode the i only has 18kW available.

    I am very interested in the Eco mode having free-wheel coasting when you lift your right foot -- this will greatly improve the range if you can learn how to ecodrive, and coast as often and as far as possible.

    I've said in every post on the Fit EV -- Honda needs to *sell* as *many* of these as they can!


  7. These car companies that limit their EV's to California and Oregon and only 1100 prove to me they are only playing a game and not really serious about developing EV's in earnest. Until they stop playing this game and expand their market, I will not pay them serious attention. IMHO I don't think they want to be in this market. It reminds me of kids who are dragged kicking and screaming to do what they don't want to do. A pox on their heads.

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